The best part about ranking Houston’s best chocolate croissants? The requirement to eat said croissants. Or so I thought before consuming my fifth buttery, chocolate-filled pastry in a much-too-short three hour timeframe.
Ashley and I were recently in Houston, dubbed the “Fattest City in America” in 2001, 2002, 2003 and, more recently, 2012 by Men’s Health Magazine. So what did we do to celebrate our time in this city of obesity? We decided to research coffee shops claiming Houston’s best chocolate croissants and rank them for ourselves.
Ashley and I had ten coffee shops on our list. After our third stop, we realized that we had been far too ambitious in anticipating that we would be capable of eating ten croissants in one morning. Or even in one full day. Or over the course of an entire weekend.
In fact, I’m not quite sure how I’m typing this right now. I think I should be in a sugar and calorie-induced coma for the next month. Chocolate-filled croissants were not created to be consumed in such large quantities. I now realize that chocolate croissants are kind of like alcohol; for every one you eat, you need to drink a glass of water to help filtrate your system and prevent hangover. Sugar hangover.
Having never actually had a hangover myself, I’m not entirely sure what it feels like, but I imagine it’s sort of like what I’m experiencing right now: a lethargy and delirium that has me wondering if I will ever eat again. Or stand again. Or fit in my pants again. Or even desire to ever put on pants again, because that would require moving.
Good thing we only ate five and not the originally planned ten chocolate croissants. Or else we MIGHT BE DEAD. In any case, so that you lovely readers don’t have to suffer as Ashley and I suffered, here is our review of the Top Five Chocolate Croissants in Houston:
5. Common Bond
Earlier this year, Houston Eater named Common Bond one of the up-and-coming coffee shops of the city’s hip “inner loop”. So Ashley and I had high hopes for their chocolate croissants – especially when we saw that they were roughly the size of a small house cat. Seriously. These things are gigantic.
Unfortunately upon tasting, I found my croissant to be dry and brittle, and – although it looked beautifully golden brown – on the whole, the pastry tasted decidedly burnt. It also was not filled with enough chocolate to make up for the seemingly endless mass of breading. It would seem Common Bond emphasizes quantity to make up for their lack of quality.
4. Boomtown Coffee
Although Boomtown is unquestionably the best hole-in-the-wall coffee shop in Houston (their Milk & Honey is the best latte I’ve ever had in my life), sadly, they need to stick to making coffee and leave pastry-making to the cafes in the top three.
The croissant texture was perfect – soft and flaky – but it was too buttery and had an unfortunate artificial taste. The chocolate had tinges of something akin to sickly sweet raspberry flavoring that was both unexpected and unwelcome. As amazing as Boomtown’s coffee is, I was disappointed at their pastry showing.
3. Croissant Brioche
None of my Houston friends had heard of Croissant Brioche, but it actually had decent chocolate croissants. The chocolate was warm and melty, and the pastry had not one but two rows of chocolate inside, so the ratio of croissant to chocolate was perfect… except that it wasn’t really a croissant. It was more like a chocolate-filled kolache, but it was the best damn chocolate-filled kolache I’ve ever had.
Side note: Kind of ironic that the one place with “croissant” in the name didn’t actually serve croissants…
2. Revival Market
This little gem of a cafe used to be a marketplace for local farmers and artisans to sell their wares, but Revival Market has since grown into a full-fledged cafe with seating and a farm-to-table menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Their chocolate croissants were certainly fresh. The bread was deliciously warm and flaky, and the Revival Market croissants definitely had the most chocolate. Unfortunately, some of the chocolate that had oozed out the side was hard and burnt, and even the warm, gooey chocolate on the inside tasted like Nestles chocolate chips. Additionally, much of the chocolate had settled to the bottom of the croissant, making for a sub-par distribution throughout. Nevertheless, Revival Market’s chocolate croissants came in second place.
1. French Riviera
Amazing. Simply Amazing.
French Riviera‘s chocolate croissants are everything a chocolate croissant should be: warm, flaky, and chocolatey. I wish all five of my chocolate croissants had been from French Riviera because theirs was absolute perfection. Also, theirs alone was worth every one of the 300 calories of butter and chocolatey goodness.
Let’s not do that math.